Tag: Volodymyr Zelensky

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Cara Candal talks with John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of George F. Kennan: An American Life. He shares some of the wider background knowledge, major historical themes, and key events that today’s students should know about the Cold War and its impact. He discusses the life and legacy of George F. Kennan, the subject of his Pulitzer-winning biography, who was the architect of America’s Containment policy toward Soviet communism and understood the true character of the Russian people and why communism would fail. They survey some of the outstanding political, military, literary, and religious leaders, as well as the murderous dictators, of the Cold War era. Prof. Gaddis explains why the West has often seemed less resolute towards Communist China and Putin’s Russia since the Cold War, and explores what teachers, students, and the public should know regarding Russia’s long-standing goal of dominating Ukraine. The episode concludes with a reading from Prof. Gaddis’s book, The Cold War: A New History.

Stories of the Week: In Massachusetts, education policymakers are moving ahead with a second review of the Boston Public Schools (BPS), which may lead to state receivership, after reports found that 16,000 BPS students attend schools performing in the bottom 10 percent statewide. Pioneer Institute’s Senior Fellow Charles Chieppo, most recently co-author of a RealClearPolicy op-ed on this topic, joins Cara for an in-depth discussion.

Тихая ночь в Москве: The End of Echo, No More Rain (Borscht Report #11)


I’m not quite sure how to start this. In fact, I’m not quite sure I’m going to post it. I write a lot about Russia, for Ricochet and in ‘real life.’ Watching the level of discourse about the war in Ukraine across American social media has been…well, let’s just go with ‘words I’m not allowed to say here because this is a family website.’ Maybe, if it were something that was less present in my everyday life, I would feel as though I could engage with this topic and not watch my temper rocket from zero to a hundred in record time. But it isn’t. 

As a historian, I have a sub-field specialty in Russia, and as a scholar with a professional interest in Jewish studies, Russia and Ukraine are vital research locations for me. As an undergraduate student, I spent three very difficult years going from my ABCs to fluency in Russian. As a Russian speaker, I’m sitting in an apartment filled with books, vinyl records, t-shirts, etc. in Russian. As a human being, I have people I love in Russia and Ukraine, and even more people I love have friends and family in both of those places. In the last week, I’ve seen a Ukrainian friend I studied with in London leave the safety of that city to fight for his country, and have watched from afar as a Russian friend’s life comes unraveled, her brother and father conscripted to fight, her Ukrainian family struggling with no hope of help, her avenues to the outside world growing narrower every day, and her activism a very real threat to her life. It’s entirely possible that he will die defending his nation, and she will go to prison for criticizing the megalomaniacal dictator that runs her country. A month ago, we were joking about our stress-obsessed former Russian teacher, or our shared taste in oldies underground rock. Now I’m just hoping that I won’t wake up one day and realize that yesterday would be the last time I ever heard from them. 

Reject Two Big Lies


Especially during military conflicts, propaganda is usually easy to spot and easier to ignore. But two things have me seething over some propaganda we’ve had to endure or likely to hear about Russia’s evil dictator, Vladimir Putin, and a falsehood (among many) we’re likely to hear from Joe Biden on Tuesday night during the annual State of the Union address.

First, I’m offended by the notion that Putin is somehow is a “man of faith” and a great defender of Christian values. No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine (its former President, Victor Yuschenko) and Alexander Litvinenko in England. He kills or tries to kill political opponents (e.g., Alexei Navalny, now a political prisoner).

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Two of the best presidents of the last four decades made their careers as actors. What is it about actors that make them great presidents? Perhaps they understand that the head of state is really playing a role as leader of the nation. Perhaps not knowing how their films will be received gives them a […]

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